New Book ** Edible Perennials: 50 Top perennials from Plants For A Future. Current interest in forest or woodland garden designs reflects an awareness that permanent mixed plantings are inherently more sustainable than annual monocultures. They safeguard and enrich soil ecosystems... more >>

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Back to Key. Next (A).. (B).. (C).. (D-F).. (G-I).. (L-O).. (P).. (Q-R).. (S).. (T-Z).

Checklist of plants suitable for hedging and windbreaks: A

Botanical name Common name Deciduous/ Evergreen Height Growth rate Hardiness Wind Notes
Acer campestre Field Maple D M-T M 4   Most soils. Leaves preserve fruit. Medicinal.
Ailanthus altissima Tree of heaven D T F 6   Tolerates most soils and conditions including pollution. Insect repellant, medicinal, soil stabilization, yellow dye. Leaves are said to be edible but slightly toxic.
Alnus glutinosa Alder D M-T F 3 M Prefers a moist soil. Ink ,dyes, tannin, medicinal.
Amelanchier canadensis Juneberry D M-T M-F 4 W Moist well drained lime free soil, sunny position. Edible fruit.
Arundo donax Giant reed Grass M-T F 6   Moist soil esp by water. Edible rhizome. Basketry, plant supports, erosion control, medicinal.
Atriplex canescens Salt bush E M-T M 7 M Well drained soil in full sun. Resists fire. Edible leaves-salty. Edible seed.
Atriplex halimus Salt bush E M M 8 M As above.
Aucuba japonica Spotted laurel E M M 7 M Most soils sun or shade. Tolerates smoke. Leaves are said to be a famine food.


D = Deciduous E = Evergreen

Height:- S = Small (to 4ft for hedges, 20ft for trees.) M = Medium (to 6ft for hedges, 50ft for trees.) T = Tall (over 6ft for hedges, over 50ft for trees.)

Rate of Growth:- S = Slow M = Medium F = Fast

Wind Resistance:- W = tolerates Windy sites M = tolerates Maritime exposure

Hardiness zones 1(hardiest) to 10:- most of Britain is in zone 7 or 8 with some upland and northern areas being colder whilst western and southern coastal areas are milder.

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